• Graduation Year: 2024

 finleyheadsquareMajor: Biological Sciences

Minor: Public Health 

How did you decide on your major?

Before committing to Rutgers University, I attended Biotechnology High School in Freehold, a school dedicated to life-science and research across many different disciplines. During my time there, I took a wide range of classes related to Biotechnology, Agriculture, Anatomy, and many other diverse subjects. When I got to Rutgers, I knew I wanted to continue studying on a Biological Sciences track, and I quickly learned that the possibilities offered here were endless.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

Since I am on the pre-med track, I have had some course requirements such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, but majoring in the Biological Sciences has also allowed me to explore unique disciplines outside of my typical areas of study. As a senior, I am taking an Ornithology class where I go on field trips to learn about different bird species in New Jersey! I am extremely passionate about mental health advocacy and holistic patient care, so I am thankful that the Biological Sciences major has allowed me to expand my horizons and incorporate new information into my educational journey.

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

Out of all the classes I have taken at Rutgers, I would have to say that my favorite has been Organic Chemistry with Professor Kiranjot Sethi. Organic Chemistry was a learning experience that was out of my comfort zone, as it pushed me to work extremely hard. At the same time, it was rewarding to see my hard work pay off throughout both semesters of the class. Professor Sethi was engaging, understanding, and inspiring as she helped all her students achieve their academic goals.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

My favorite experience outside of my major has been working in the  research lab of Dr. Morgan James, at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Psychiatry. I began my time in the lab as a research assistant during my sophomore year and have remained with the lab ever since. The research process is demanding, but it has been one of my best experiences here at Rutgers. One piece of advice that I would give to students looking for research opportunities is to pick something that you are passionate about. If you enjoy what you are working for, you will find the motivation and fulfillment to persevere through the challenges you might face. Aside from the James Lab, I am also a part of the Institute for Women’s Leadership Scholars Certificate Program where I have had the privilege to learn about women’s leadership in the workplace. Within this program, I had the opportunity to create a pilot project entitled “Rhythm & Recovery: Dance Therapy for Mental Health” where I taught improvisational dance workshops to explore the possibility of alternative mental health resource options at Rutgers.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

At Rutgers, I am a part of the Rutgers Performing Dance Company, Glamour Gals, and I am the President of Globe Med at Rutgers! Outside of school, I love to snowboard whenever I get the chance, and I have recently been testing and reviewing sneakers for Runners World. I will be running the Disney Princess Half Marathon this winter, and I will be running the Spring Lake Five Mile Run this summer.

What are your plans following graduation?

Following graduation, I will be taking a gap year where I hope to continue to gain research and clinical experience before I apply to medical school. For this upcoming year after I graduate, I am looking forward to spending time with my family by the beach while hopefully traveling as well. I am excited to see what the future holds for me.

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